We've got our MapQuest printouts directing us to the admissions
offices, our cell phones stored with contact information of
department chairs, and, most crucially, an iPod plugged into the
We're embarking, my son, a pal of his, and I, on a modern-day
expedition into the heart of uncertainty - otherwise known as the
The future's so unclear we have to wear bifocals.
I do, anyway.
I'm like, College Tour? What is that? Something made up by the
(Here we go
When I was your age, we didn't have
We had college.
You applied, you got in, you went. None of this check-it-out
What's there to check out? I'll tell you what: the tuition, that's
what. And for that, you don't need a tour. You need different
parents. Moneyed parents.
"Dad, this is the exit."
We drive through downtown Baltimore to the Peabody Institute of the
Johns Hopkins University. Sam wants to be a musician. You don't
need a college education to go into a career where you starve to
death, I consider telling him, but, hey, you don't have to go to
college to go into a career you don't like either. Actually, maybe
you do. The point is, if things don't work out, then, as one of his
favorite bands, Led Zeppelin, counsels, "There's still time to
change the road you're on."
At Peabody, we meet with a student Sam knows from our hometown of
Washington, D.C. He dispenses valuable advice - "time management is
the key" - while taking us around to the practice rooms, the dorms,
and the library. We end in the cafeteria. He looks around and then
suggests that we go down the street to a sandwich shop.